Bones refutes claim he doctored baseball

The Associated Press

BALTIMORE First, Ricardo Bones disappointed a sellout crowd at the Baltimore Orioles' long-awaited home opener with a magnificent pitching performance.

Then he shot down accusations that he doctored the baseball.

Bones allowed two hits in 7 1/3 innings and Seitzer went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI as the Milwaukee Brewers won 7-0 yesterday in the first regular-season game at Camden Yards in 244 days.

Afterward, Baltimore manager Phil Regan said the Orioles confiscated eight baseballs that had been thrown by Bones.

''It's kind of strange that they were all scuffed in the same spot,'' he said.

Bones scoffed at the accusation, noting, ''He can say what he wants. I haven't done it in the past and I didn't do it today. I guess you have to put the blame somewhere when you lose.''

Baltimore fans, in an apparent forgiving mood in the wake of the strike, filled the stadium for the 46th time in 47 home dates. During pre-game introductions they enthusiastically applauded the Orioles who refused to field a replacement team during spring training giving their loudest cheers for Cal Ripken, who was playing in his 2,015th consecutive game.

The 46,523 didn't have much to yell about after that, however, as Milwaukee had a 5-0 lead before Chris Hoiles got the first Baltimore hit in the fifth.

''It was a great crowd,'' Regan said. ''I just wish we played a little better for them.''

Bones wouldn't let them. In fact, the 26-year-old right-hander got a thrill out of playing in front of a sellout crowd even on the road.

''It's always nice to play when it's a full stadium,'' he said. ''All those people watching you, it's exciting. These are good fans in Baltimore.''

Bones (1-0) struck out one and walked four. He had lost five straight decisions to Baltimore since June 1992, but this time he had a few surprises for them.

''He pitched differently. He used to throw a lot of fastballs, but this time he threw a lot more breaking balls,'' said Baltimore's Leo Gomez, who went 0-for-3.

''I was able to keep them off balance by throwing the curve and sinker for strikes,'' Bones said. ''I stayed ahead of the count most of the day.''

Bones left after giving up an eighth-inning single to Brady Anderson. Graeme Lloyd got the final five outs without allowing a hit.

John Jaha and Joe Oliver homered for the Brewers (5-1), off to their best start since opening 1987 13-0.

Mike Mussina (0-1) allowed nine hits and five runs in four innings. It was only the seventh time in 95 career starts that the right-hander failed to last at least five innings.

Milwaukee got a run in the second when Jaha tripled and scored on a single by Oliver. A two-run homer by Seitzer made it 3-0 in the third, and Jaha homered to left after a single by Derrick May to make it 5-0 in the fourth.

The Brewers added a run in the sixth on a double by Pat Listach and an RBI single by Seitzer. Oliver homered off Alan Mills in the eighth.

Read Next Article